Suzuki and gratitude

There’s so much goodness in the world that we take for granted. Between the lines of our packed calendars there is a wealth of experience we can be grateful for. Nowhere is this more true than in our work as Suzuki parents, because music education isn’t just one more thing for our children to put on their college application. It’s door to a universal world of timeless beauty and depth. How could we not be grateful for that? Here are some reasons to be grateful as Suzuki parents:

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Our music teachers are the vital link to our children’s learning. Without them, we would be lost. Few of us are equipped with the knowledge and skill to do this alone. They teach not to become materially wealthy but because they have a talent they wish to impart to others. Teaching is a selfless gift for which we should be incredibly grateful. How can we show our gratitude to our teachers?

  • Take a moment to tell your teacher how important they are. Write her a card.
  • Teach your children to be grateful and respectful to their teacher. Have them try to remember to say: “Thank you for teaching me.” from time-to-time.
  • Show your confidence in your teacher’s ability by following their instructions.
  • Show up at events. When your teacher organizes an event, show up. We all have busy lives; but to the extent of your ability, show up. 90% of ability comes from showing up. [1]

Our community is bolstered by a number of organizations, small and large. The Suzuki Association of the Americas is the large parent organization on this side of the world. Many states and provinces have their own regional associations. And many communities have Suzuki schools or local associations. Many of these organizations are largely volunteer-run. Supporting the organizations that make Suzuki talent education widely available is a way of showing gratitude:

  • Volunteer your time. You can offer to help organize event. Even if you have just a little time, there’s a role for everyone.
  • Support these organizations with charitable donations. Most Suzuki schools and organizations in the U.S. operate under Section 501c and accept charitable donations. Including Suzuki in your charitable giving plan or your estate plan is a tangible way of showing gratitude for the role that organizations play in promoting universal talent education.
  • Participate in discussion groups. For example, the SAA has a discussion group where you can participate. Parents ask questions about how to deal with dilemmas that you may have also faced. It’s a good way to contribute knowledge that you have gained in your role.

And there are our personal reasons for gratitude:

  • Joining with your kids in learning to play an instrument gives you thousands of moments to interact with them in constructive ways.
  • Talent education helps make you a better parent. I can say with confidence that I owe much of what I know as a parent from what I’ve learned helping my daughter become a young musician.
  • Music gives our families a grounding and purpose.

So, to all the teachers: among all the things you could do with your musical ability, thank you for teaching our children. ♡


  1. I made up that statistic of course. But there's a point about how habit creates ability. And appropriate to gratitude, it shows appreciation for the work that goes into planning and carrying out events in the studio.